Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd | The Canadian Encyclopedia


Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd

Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd

Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) was incorporated as a crown corporation in 1952 to take over the Chalk River project, the site in 1945 of the first controlled nuclear chain reaction outside the US (see Nuclear Research Establishments); it reports to Parliament through the minister of natural resources. The company is involved in a host of nuclear energy activities and applications in Canada.

AECL has traditionally undertaken more than 90% of nuclear-energy research and development in Canada. It develops, markets and manages the construction of CANDU (Canada Deuterium Uranium) power reactors and Maple research reactors (see Nuclear Power Plants). With Canadian and international business partners, AECL has designed, engineered and supplied components for the construction of CANDU reactors in Europe, Asia, North and South America.

There are 22 CANDU reactors in Canada which provide 20% of the nation's electricity; 20 of these are in Ontario where they account for 60% of electricity generation. Worldwide, there are a total of 32 CANDU reactors either operating or under construction.

AECL has more than 3500 employees at facilities in Ontario, Québec and Manitoba.

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